AUSTIN, Texas — Editor's note: The video above was published when parents voiced their concerns over Martin Middle School.
After listening to feedback from parents in the Austin Independent School District, leaders have put together a plan which includes closing four schools.
The district planned to release details on the new plan Friday afternoon and talk to the media on camera about the closures. About an hour before, the district canceled the availability.
The plan didn't come out until around 6:30 p.m. on Friday. The district provided details in a document.
The plan outlines three schools slated for closure in the 2020-21 school year – Sims Elementary School, Metz Elementary School and Pease Elementary School. Under the proposal, Pease would be re-purposed to be used as an archive for the district.
Still under consideration for closure in the revised plan is Brooke Elementary School.
Eight other schools previously slated for closure have been taken off the list for now: Bertha Sadler Means Young Women’s Leadership Academy; Pecan Springs, Ridgetop, Maplewood, Palm, Dawson and Joslin elementary schools; Webb Middle School.
The Austin ISD board is slated to vote on the proposal on Nov. 18. If the school board approves the proposal, the changes will go into effect for the 2020-21 school year.
Superintendent Dr. Paul Cruz said that all AISD employees in good standing that may be affected by "School Changes" proposals are guaranteed a job at their current staffing level or higher.
The new proposal comes after the district leaders put together a multi-year plan earlier this year, which included closing 12 elementary and middle schools to consolidate them with others. As the vote approached, Education Austin, the teachers' and employees' union for AISD, asked the school board to delay its controversial vote for a year.
The superintendent released a statement on Oct. 30, saying in part that "I believe deeply that no change at all is not an option."
The updated document released Friday includes 12 scenarios that could be enacted during the next school year if approved. The updates focus on districtwide changes, programmatic expansions or additions, campus closures and consolidations and facility repurposing. Three new districtwide scenarios were added since the initial proposal was made public on Sept. 5. That proposal included 39 scenarios.
The 12 scenarios included in Version 2.0 of the School Changes document, which will be discussed at the Board Information Session, include:
- Districtwide Cultural Proficiency & Inclusiveness
- Academic Excellence: Academic Equity
- Districtwide Special Education System
- Families-First Expanded School Hours
- Strategic Staffing of Highly Effective Teachers
- Cultivating Tomorrow's Teachers
- Norman & Sims Partnership
- Mets & Sanchez Partnership
- Pease Reenvisioned
- Space to Learn in Southwest/South Central Elementary Schools
- First Responders at LBJ Early College High School
- Brooke, Govalle & Linder Partnership
More than 20 of the initial scenarios are listed in the proposal for consideration in future years after more planning and co-creation with the affected communities. Meanwhile, eight scenarios from the first version have been withdrawn from consideration.
The updates come after 30 community engagement meetings with the affected areas of each scenario. Future community engagement meetings are outlined below. All will provide translation and child care.
Thursday, Nov. 7
- Brooke Elementary School, 6:30 to 8 p.m.
- Pease Elementary School, 5:30 to 7 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 8
- Sims Elementary School, 7:30 to 9 a.m.
Saturday, Nov. 9
- Districtwide, Travis Early College High School, 12 to 2 p.m.
Tuesday, Nov. 12
- Districtwide, Eastside Memorial Early College High School, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
- Metz Elementary School, 5 to 6:30 p.m.
- Sims Elementary School, 6 to 7:30 p.m.
PEOPLE ARE ALSO READING: